Picklesimer, Ralph


A six-time letterman, Ralph Picklesimer made his mark across three sports and impacted the athletic program with a variety of impressive talents. Standing 6’5” and weighing 260 pounds, those who watched him play claimed that “Pick” could have excelled at any sport he wanted.

Hailing from Middletown,Ohio, Picklesimer was a two-year letterman for the football program as a standout lineman. He played center on the heralded 1946 team,which posted a 7-1 record and earned Otterbein’s first and only Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) championship in the sport. Picklesimer was supposed to play fullback that year, but the team had nobody to fill the center position and he volunteered to move up front.

Picklesimer was a unanimous first team All-OAC center as he helped pave the way for All-OAC running back Paul Davis and the Cardinal offense, which averaged 34.6 points per game and ultimately outscored opponents 277-29. Included in the season was an 18-13 triumph over a Denison team coached by Woody Hayes, who later said the 1946 Otterbein squad was the best small-college team he had ever seen. Otterbein’s only loss came in the form of a 13-7 defeat at West Virginia, but Picklesimer earned respect and recognition from many involved.The Mountaineers chose him as the center for their “All-Opponent Eleven” team at season’s end that highlighted the best player they played against at each position.

He certainly impacted other varsity programs on campus as a three-sport athlete, lettering three times in track and field and snagging another on the basketball court. Among the most memorable performances in T&F came during the season finale of 1948 when Otterbein recorded an 82-45 dual-meet victory at cross-town rival Capital. Picklesimer won the shot put and discus that day. Picklesimer, who also served time as a marine, graduated from Otterbein in 1950 with a degree in Education and was drafted by the New York Giants. He later earned a master’s degree from East Carolina University and then his PhD from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Picklesimer went on to a long career as a high school administrator and also worked as a national sales manager. He passed away in 2003 and was survived by his wife, Sonny, along with their three children; Stan, Kimberly and Dayle.This noteworthy man undoubtedly goes down as one of the most gifted athletesto wear a Cardinal uniform and, for all that he did to enhance Otterbein, now grabs a permanent spot in the Hall of Fame.